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3 Tips For Managing Dental Anxiety

gum recessionIf just thinking about going to the dentist makes you break out in a cold sweat, you’re not alone. Maybe you’re worried about pain or maybe you haven’t been in a while and you’re unsure what the dentist will find.

Waiting to see the dentist will only make dental issues worse and cause you to spend more time, money and discomfort. Scheduling regular visits with your dentist can actually help make the entire process much easier on many levels.

Dr. Amy Marckese at Dental Spa Indy has transformed the dental experience and wants to give you some tips to help you beat your fear of the dentist’s chair. Use these helpful hints at your next appointment to help ease your anxiety and keep your smile healthy and strong.

1. Speak up

Your dental team can adjust your treatment if they know that you struggle with fear of the dentist. It’s a common problem, which is why Dental Spa Indy works hard to create a spa-like experience. However, we know that your surroundings can only do so much to calm your anxiety, so be sure to let us know if you’re uncomfortable.

  • Talk to your dentist about your anxiety. When you schedule your appointment, tell the receptionist that dental care makes you nervous and remind the dental staff about your anxiety when you arrive. It can be helpful to share any bad experiences you may have had in the past, and ask for suggestions on how to cope.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions. The unknown can be frightening so asking your dental team to let you know what is going to happen in your treatment can help alleviate that fear.
  • If you feel any pain even with a local anesthetic, tell your dentist. Some patients may feel embarrassed about their pain tolerance or don’t want to interrupt a dentist during a procedure.

2. Distract yourself

Taking your mind off the exam might seem impossible when you’re anxious, but there are some things you can do that that can help you distract yourself.

  • Wear headphones. If the sound of the drill makes you nervous, bring headphones so you can listen to your favorite music or audiobook.
  • Keep your hands busy by squeezing a stress ball or playing with a small handheld object, like a fidget spinner.
  • Visualize yourself in a calm and tranquil location, such as a beach or mountain cabin.

3. Use mindfulness techniques

Many patients who don’t have dental anxiety still become tense during their treatment. It’s important to check in with yourself and center yourself so you can recognize the tension and relax. Try these mindfulness techniques during your appointment:

  • Count your breaths. Inhale slowly and then exhale for the same count. Do this at least five times while you’re waiting for your appointment, or during breaks from treatment while you’re still in the dentist’s chair.
  • Do a body scan. Focus on relaxing your muscles, one body part at a time. Begin with your head and work your way down to your toes. For example, concentrate on releasing tension starting in your forehead, then your cheeks, your neck and down the rest of your body.

Remember: Your dentist and their team are here to help you have a healthier smile.  They don’t want you to be afraid or to hurt you.  Make sure to communicate your fears so they can help you begin having positive experiences at the dentist’s office.

Dental Spa Indy offers state-of-the-art dental care in a caring, compassionate dentist office environment. Schedule your appointment with us online or call 866.486.0230.